I’ve Been Cracked
So, my life story was spread across the front page of Cracked.com this morning. Yes, I not only agreed to it, I went through hours and hours of interviews and draft reviews to make it happen. I hope I don’t end up regretting it…I don’t think I will…I think it came out pretty well. I need to thank Robert Evans and the team at Cracked for being really super respectful and honourable.
But, OMG, pushing half-a-million views in 24 hours? And the shitshow in the comment stream*…yeah, well, what did I expect? At the very least I’m glad it wasn’t a waste of time.
I have now done something that always gives me pause when I see other trans people doing it: I have paraded myself before the cisgender gaze. In doing so, I must interrogate my motives very, very carefully.
But I think I’m OK.
If we do not explain ourselves, others will explain us, and that never goes well. We are now visible and the subject of intense interest, whether we like it or not. We are very few, we are under attack, and we need others to stand up for us.†
We cannot defend ourselves alone.
Cisgender people will not step up on our behalf unless they empathise with us, and they cannot empathise with us unless they know our stories.
I have a story.
My 60 year story spans a good part of known transgender history and most of the issues. I transitioned as a child, half a century ago, was de-transitioned, re-transitioned as a young adult, and disappeared into the woodwork of cisgender society for decades, all long before Caitlyn and the current hullaballoo. With that, I believe I am in a position to say something.
I feel obligated to say something.
And the only thing I know how to say, with any authority, is my own story.
So, if my story moves you, please, please stand up for us. If you need to know what that looks like to me, read this. We need you.
In the short time it took me to write this, another 20K people have seen my life story. I hope it’s enough.
* After the dust settled there were 2/3 million views and a thousand comments, most of them pretty ugly. Actually, the ‘top comments’ are pretty great, some outright heart-warming.
† To find out what I think ‘standing up for us’ looks like, please read this.
A follow-on podcast featuring myself and a couple other trans women of my generation was released by Cracked, 27 September 2017. It’s pretty interesting.
I make a spare living doing this. You can support my work and get draft previews and my frequent ‘Letters Home’ for less than the cost of a coffee.